OA in Spain

Print PDF

The National Research Environment

Universities and Public Research Centers (OPI’s) constitute the core of the Spanish public research system. Public Universities (48) are organized under the Ministry of Education in their respective Autonomous Community, with the exception of 2 (UNED and “Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo”) that are under the Ministry of Education of the Central Government. 5 universities have Open Access mandates (Universidad de Salamanca, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid). Public Research Centers (7) are organized under the Minister of Science and Innovation of the Central Government.

Spain contributes 3.44 % of the world scientific production. Universities contribute with the 62% of the total scientific production of Spain; they receive 27.6% of the total public expenditures.

Major Spanish research funders

The Ministry of Science and Innovation of the Central Government and the Ministries of Science and Innovation of the Autonomous Communites constitute the core of the Spanish research funding structure. Their funding is implemented through national and regional competitive calls from their R&D funding programmes. The future Law of Science will create the National Research Agency as the National Funding Agency. The total sum of the R&D funding in 2010 is EUR 5,290M.

Funders mandates

At a national level, the  future  National Law of Science includes an Open Access mandate for public funded research, and the  Ministry of Education has established a mandate to deposit theses and to make them publicly available in the institutional repositories.

At a regional level, two Autonomous Communities have established an open access mandate (Autonomous Community of Madrid, 2008 and Principado de Asturias, 2009).

EC research funding in Spain

The 7FP, up to now, has led to a return of 498.4 millions of euros, that is, 6.6% of the budget estimated over the UE-27. These figures show that the FP is one of the main sources of research funding in Spain. The objective is to reach progressively 8% return on the 7PM in 2010 in accordance with the economical weight of Spain in the EU.

Open Access and Repositories

There is an extremely high awareness of Open Access within the library community but not as much among (there is no culture of slepf-archiving or demand for repositories). There is practically not awareness of Open Access within the commercial publishers.

21 Spanish institutions have signed the Berlin Declaration including 17 universities out of a total of 74 universities. Besides the 5 universities that have mandates policies other universities are engaged in ongoing Open Access work. Some universities, like the University of Alicante, give direct financial help to departments or research groups according to the number of documents they deposit in the institutional repository.

Open Access projects and initiatives

  • RECOLECTA. A joint program of REBIUN/FECYT to promote, support and coordinate the cohesive development of the Spanish digital repositories infrastructure for open access, dissemination and preservation of Spanish publicly funded research results, and to develop, or allow third parties to develop, services and functionalities over those scientific results for researchers and the wider community;

  • Research Group “acceso abierto a la ciencia”. The Research Group's goal is to become a source of information about Open Access and a forum for discussion and sharing experiences. The portal offers tools for authors, providing information about publishers copyright terms and self-archiving policies (Dulcinea), an updated directory of Spanish Institutional Open Access Repositories (BuscaRepositorios) and an International Directory of institutional OA (Melibea). The aim of this directory of institutional open access policies is to identify and analyze the existing policies that encourages, request or require open access to scholarly outputs that arise from projects, in whole or in part, supported by public funds.
RECOLECTA has created 4 Working Groups:
  • Statistics
  • Persistent Author Identifier
  • Quality certification
  • ORE pilot project
Research Open Access Portals:
  • RECOLECTA (national harvester). It harvests most of the existing open access IR in Spain and OAI compliant journals. The portal currently contains 606489 documents, 100% OA;

  • e-ciencia Consorcio Madroño” (Autonomous Community of Madrid). Madrid region harvester for public universities in the region, including UNED (National Distance Education University of Spain) and the CSIC (Spanish National Research Council) repositories. Currently the portal contains 83934 scientific documents, 100% OA

Open Access Repositories

Spain currently has around 59 institutional repositories and a fully operable national repository network. Most Spanish repositories (78 %) are institutional, mainly created by universities (54% of Universities have created an IR and many are planning to do it in the near future), but there are also research institutions, like the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and even private organizations involved in the development of different kinds of open access repositories. Library Consortia play a key role in the creation of repositories, specially in Catalonia (CBUC) and Madrid (Consorcio Madroño) whose respective territories account for most of the existing institutional repositories in Spain.

The materials held in the repositories vary greatly, but full-text research articles and doctoral theses are the most frequently deposited. The vast majority of repositories contain both metadata of the text documents and the full-text documents. With regard to the type of availability, most of the materials 64% are available in open access from the moment they are deposited and only 19%, such as articles with publisher restrictions, are subject to some type of embargo. The materials deposited represent only a small portion of the entire scientific production of the institutions

Open Access publishing

Unlike most important publishing markets in the world (like United States, UK and Netherlands), the majority of the Spanish research journals are published by not-for-profit organizations (75%): Public Research Centers, Universities, Professional Associations and Research and Scholarly Associations. This fact may be a favorable factor for the Open Access publishing model in Spain. DOAJ indexes 272 OA Spanish journals (6.23%); this figure makes Spanish OA journals fourth in the international Rank, after USA, Brazil, and UK. With regards to self-archiving policies, most of the journals in the Dulcinea database (52%) allow it.

Useful links and resources

Theres are 3 very active Spanish forums, related to repositories and in general to the OA movement, at least there are 3 very active:

e-mail lists:

  • Os repositorios http://listserv.rediris.es/archives/os-repositorios.html A distribution list, created by an independent group (Grupo de trabajo para implementación repositorios open access) of librarians, researchers and a variety of people from different types of institutions in Spain, to discuss matters and disseminate national and international initiatives around the implementation of open access repositories.
Contributors Contact Details

- Alicia López Medina (UNED/RECOLECTA) alopezm@pas.uned.es

- Research Group “acceso abierto a la ciencia”.  Coordinators: Remedios Melero (CSIC) y Ernest Abadal (Universitat de Barcelona).